Many people have it in mind to eat healthy, but the wrong notion of having to spend more money stops them short.
Healthy food can be expensive or not, depending on how you handle it. The bottom line is to consider the long-term benefits or otherwise. Either you spend money on quality, healthy food now, or you spend money on health care costs later on. And typically, those health care costs will be way higher than what you’d pay at the grocery store.
With the effects of the pandemic on both personal, government and corporate budget, people are finding ways to do everything in a less expensive way.
So, if you’re serious about being healthy on a budget, you have to be prepared to do some or all of the following;
Plan Your Meals:
Meal planning is friendly for both your health and budget. The best meal plan happens in the kitchen. Start with what you already have. What do you already have in your pantry and freezer? You’ll save more and waste less.
Coupon and Sales:
When you shop take those papers, they hand over to you and keep them handy. You can take advantage of the sales so you don’t spend more for what you can buy for less.
Make a Grocery List:
Once you know your meals for the week or month, and what ingredients you already have, you can write out everything else you need. Be firm with yourself. To help, you can say quietly to yourself “It’s not on my list” when you feel tempted to pick something that is not on your list.
Strategise your shopping:
The best shopping lists are organised by aisle or by store section. This keeps you from going back and forth while shopping, which is one of the best ways to not get caught up in junk food temptations. When you window shop, you’ll be tempted to pick something that appeals to you.
Keep your pantry stocked:
There are a few basic ingredients that you’ll need regularly on hand. Like oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, spices. Others also include; cans of tomatoes, tuna, beans, pasta, rice, frozen fruits and vegetables, and coffee and/or tea. If you have these things in your house, you can make very quick and healthy dishes without going to a grocery store all the time.
Buy in Bulk:
Bulk purchasing might not always be the best way to save depending on how much you’ve got in hand—but sometimes it is. Before you go loading your kitchen ask yourself questions like; Can I eat it before it goes bad? Is the price per ounce cheaper? Do I have space for this larger quantity? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then try out buying in bulk to save in bulk. Also, look out for items that are cheaper when you buy in bulk.
Buy Seasonal Produce:
The problem with healthy produce is that it goes bad. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it—just don’t get more than you’ll eat. Get some produce that can ripen on your counter instead of decomposing there. For example; you can buy some yellow bananas for now, and some green ones to ripen later. Rotate your produce picks based on what’s on sale and in season. They’re cheaper and healthier.
Cook at Home:
You’ll be tempted to grab greasy fast food on the way home or to work when you don’t have cooked food at home. That is not pocket and health friendly. Know this, own this and beat this. As you plan your meals, consider those hectic nights ahead of time and put healthy quick-prep dinners on your grocery list. Also, keep some healthy non-perishable snacks in your car to keep your appetite under control.
Repurpose leftovers into new dishes:
Once you make a meal, don’t forget about it in the fridge until it becomes bacteria filled. That wastes food and money. Put your leftovers to good use. Take that extra chicken, that frozen bag of frozen turkey meatballs you served with noodles and repurpose them in a tasty sauce for rice the next morning. It keeps you from buying all new things for all new meals every mealtime.
Make tonight’s dinner tomorrow’s lunch:
As you’re putting away the leftovers from dinner, don’t throw the whole dish in the fridge. Portion it out in some good reusable containers so you’ve got lunch for a day or two. This will not only save your time in the mornings, it will also save your budget and body from fast food temptations.
Freeze leftovers for another day:
If you’re staring down a huge quantity of leftovers, don’t forget the freezer. If something might go bad before you can eat it again, stick it in the freezer. Just don’t forget to dig deeper in the freezer when you are meal planning for another week down the road.
Simplify Your Meals:
You can have a delightful dinner without making it a three-course meal. Ensure you have all the basic healthy components represented in that pot or plate.
Eating healthy on a budget is possible and can be sustained. You just have to be intentional, plan ahead, and stick to it.
Do you have a breakfast recipe that is healthy and on a budget? Please share with us in the comment section.